Who Are You (please include a picture):
Dave Dixon “Dave’s Dreaded”
Home Town (City, State):
I’ve been a homebrewer since:
December 1996 after I received a homebrew kit from my mom and dad for Christmas that year.
Do you have a homebrewing disaster you’d like to share?
The Sunday after the 1999 Dixie Cup competition in Houston Texas I was so excited after about how I had done I wanted to brew that day. I was heating up some water in my mash tun as was going to dump it out. I had about 6 gallons for very hot water in there and just took it off the flame. When I went to move it the keg slipped out of my hand and was heading right for my foot. I took my left hand and stopped it from spilling on me but I put my hand directly on the bottom of the keg bring my brew day to a very abrupt stop. My daughter took me to the hospital where they said I have 2nd and some 3rd degree burns. Since then a friend of my dad’s send me some welding gloves that I use whenever I move hot kegs around.
What is your favorite style(s) to brew?
Any Belgian Strong Ales, English Southern Brown, and Robust Porter. I also really enjoy make very hoppy beers (IPA, APA, and English Bitters).
What style(s) will you never brew?
As a general rule I mainly brew Ales… I have also brewed a few lagers but never have made a Belgian Sour beer. But I have plans to try the Belgian Sour Beers soon.
What was the first beer you ever brewed? How did it turn out?
English Pale Kit I got for Christmas the year I started brewing. How did it turn out? Well at the time I felt this was the best beer ever. It was not bad by I made many mistakes during my first ever brew from chilling my beer to bottling and carbonation. I remember watching the Super Bowl in 1997 with my friends drinking that first beer. I still have a bottle of each of my first 2 brews I ever made.
Have you ever had a homebrew mistake that turned out great?
In 1999 I was brewing an all-grain California Common brew. During the Mash-out my friend and I were bottling beer and the temperature of the mash spiked over 180 degrees. I thought at that time the brew was ruined…. So I recirculated the wort until it dropped below 169 degrees. I was ready to dump the batch but my friend Brian talked me into going ahead with the rest of the process and finish the beer. I am glad he talked me into doing that as this was the beer I won my first NHC gold with back in 1999.
What is your favorite beer recipe?
Chimay Red knock-off. I love Belgian Dubbel beers and I have made this beer several times and have had great success with it. If I was going to be deserted on an island for the rest of my life and can only have 1 beer to drink it would be a Belgian Dubbel.
Are you a BJCP Judge? If so, what is your rank and how long have you been judging?
No I am not a BJCP Judge. I have been judging since 1998. I am classified experienced but not certified. One of these days I will take the BJCP test. I have to make the time to do it.
Do you have a good beer judging story you’d like to share with the rest of the homebrewing world?
My greatest judging session was at the Sunshine Challenge the year Greg Noonan was the guest speaker. I had the privilege to judge Scottish Ales with Greg.
Do you have a favorite homebrew trick or gadget that you’ve found to make your beer better/brewing easier, etc?
I added heat exchanger into my hot liquor tank. This allows me to control my mash temp without putting direct heat to the bottom of the mash tun.
Describe your brew system.
My 2 tier system allows me to make up to 10 gallons at a time. My system “BIG D” system had gone through a couple of revision over the years. I am currently in revision 3 and looking at revision 4. My wife and I have the ability to have 18 beers on tap and have 7 refrigerators outside our kitchen.
How frequently do you brew (times/month or /year)?
On the average I brew at least 1 to 2 times a month. During the spring and fall seasons I may brew as many as 3 times a month.
What got you brewing?
I was on a flight back from Long Beach CA. The person sitting next to me had asked the flight attendant to chill an unlabeled bottle of beer. Half way through the flight he asked for his bottle of beer and he asked if I wanted a taste. Once I tasted that beer I asked him did you make that beer. We talked about homebrewing the rest of the flight and I decided wanted to try my hand at this hobby.
When did you know this was no ordinary hobby, it was an obsession?
My friends Brian, Bayne, and Kari would come over to brew with me quite often and I started to brew more and more (extract at that time). Then I won my first award at the Dixie Cup in 1998 with a 3rd place with a Dry Stout (an extract brew). That is when I decided to build my all-grain system. Once I built that I knew I was hooked.
Have you won any medals in a homebrew competition?
Over my Homebrewing career i have been lucky enough to win over 250+ awards.
Do you brew alone, with friends or with someone you live with?
I enjoy brewing both with friends and alone…Usually the time i start brewing it starts out alone then frinds joing when I am in the sparging process.
Are you an indoor or outdoor brewer?
List some of the names you’ve given your beers. Which is your favorite?
All my beers are named “Dreaded”
Is there any advice you would like to give to new homebrewers?
Brew more beer!!! And make sure you take your time and follow good sanitation practices. Also join a homebrew club and brew with others. There are great brewers out there what love to share their knowledge. Then you can develop your own style as a brewer. One thing to remember do not be afraid to think outside the box.